Digital cameras and film cameras both produce photographs, but it is much more than that. With analog film cameras, at least in my opinion, we create a little bit more, we don’t just record them.
There is a fragility, an effort, and some intrinsic value that makes each frame all the more special. To get to the end result often requires us to battle multiple elements to realize our vision. Film is a wonderfully tangible medium, and this brings us closer to the images we produce. We load the film by hand, physically touching what will hold our pictures. And we feel it again when we unload our camera, handling the sheet or roll that contains the still-invisible images.
We hopefully make deliberate and concerted efforts in concert with a lab or process it ourselves. Either way, trusting in the chemical gods and praying for success. There is this combination of fear and excitement in waiting to see if the creation is good, bad, or indifferent. At last, our pictures are produced, and we get to hold them again in our hands.